Biomedical technology

'Smart' cartilage cells programmed to release drugs when stressed

Working to develop new treatments for osteoarthritis, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have genetically engineered cartilage to deliver an anti-inflammatory drug in response to activity ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Cartilage matrix as natural biomaterial for cartilage regeneration

Just a few millimeters thick, articular cartilage plays a crucial role in our musculoskeletal system, since it is responsible for smooth (in the truest sense of the word) movement. However, the downside of its particular ...

Genetics

Gene that protects against osteoarthritis identified

Osteoarthritis is one of the most common problems associated with aging, and although there are therapies to treat the pain that results from the breakdown of the cartilage that cushions joints, there are no available therapies ...

Arthritis & Rheumatism

Magnetic field and hydrogels could be used to grow new cartilage

Using a magnetic field and hydrogels, a team of researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania have demonstrated a new possible way to rebuild complex body tissues, which could result in ...

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Cartilage

Cartilage is a type of dense connective tissue existing within many joints. It is composed of specialized cells called chondrocytes that produce a large amount of extracellular matrix composed of collagen fibers, abundant ground substance rich in proteoglycan, and elastin fibers. Cartilage is classified in three types, elastic cartilage, hyaline cartilage and fibrocartilage, which differ in the relative amounts of these three main components.

Cartilage is found in many areas in the body, including the articular surface of the bones, the rib cage, the ear, the nose, the bronchial tubes and the intervertebral discs. Its mechanical properties are intermediate between bone and dense connective tissue like tendon.

Unlike other connective tissues, cartilage does not contain blood vessels. The chondrocytes are fed by diffusion, helped by the pumping action generated by compression of the articular cartilage or flexion of the elastic cartilage. Thus, compared to other connective tissues, cartilage grows and repairs more slowly.

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